Posted by: Lisa Hill | March 31, 2011

Meet an Aussie Author: Jon Bauer

The pensive young man in the photo at left  is debut author Jon Bauer who has just been long-listed for the 2011 Miles Franklin Literary Award for his novel, Rocks in the Belly.   As reported earlier on this blog, it also won Best Debut Novel at this year’s Indie Booksellers awards.

Jon is originally from the UK but has been in Melbourne for the last ten years, migrating to Australia on a Distinguished Talent visa in 2009 before being awarded full citizenship in 2011.  (I’d like to congratulate the bureaucrat who approved that visa application, it’s the UK’s loss and our gain!)

Bauer is the author of short stories and plays for stage and radio. His work has been broadcast on national radio; performed at the Melbourne’s Arts Centre; and featured in The Daily Telegraph UK; Sleepers Almanac;  and the Torpedo Literary Journal.  He’s also had  success in The Bridport Prize  (2006, 2007) – the world’s largest open writing competition.

Thanks to Amy Whittaker, publicist for the Miles Franklin Award I am pleased to share Jon’s answers to my 10 questions:

1.  I was born with the umbilicus wrapped twice round my neck. Maybe that’s why I’m still single.
2.  When I was a child I wrote graffiti on the walls of my village but only in spots where nobody would see it.
3.  The person who encouraged/inspired/mentored me to write was a mixture between my friend Tom – we were bored camping in the Bungle Bungles and he challenged me to a ‘write-off’ – and Ray Bradbury, whose book on the subject is inspiring.
4.  I write in cafes with my headphones on. I need life around me when I go down into that well.
5.   I write whenever I can. It’s great when life gets in the way of writing, but the rest of the time writing is a solace, a companion, a therapist, and a bit of a sadist.
6.   Research is what you do when you don’t trust yourself. A little is ok, a lot means you might be sabotaging progress.
7.   I keep my published work/s in the rearview mirror. I want the next one. I’m an insatiable idiot.
8.   On the day my first book was published I was in bed by ten pm. It was all too much.
9.   At the moment, I’m writing two novels. One on blindness, one on quite the most distorted love story.
10. When I’m stuck for an idea/word/phrase, I write the next best word idea or phrase. I’m not short of any of those things. Not so far, anyway.

Jon has his own blog at  where I learned that Rocks in the Belly will be published in the Netherlands in the coming year, that it will be serialised on ABC National Radio, was book of the month at Readings,  Big Book Club book of the month, and pick of the year by several authors writing for The Age newspaper.   Oh, and it’s been highly praised by no less than J.M. Coetzee, M.J. Hyland and David Malouf.   That’s some endorsement, yeah!

I also discovered from Jon’s blog that that he is an inhabitant of Melbourne, UNESCO City of Literature, and so if you keep your eyes peeled in inner city cafes you may see Jon hard at work on his next novel.  (It must be something about Melbourne’s excellent coffee, so many of our writers do their thing in our cafes!)

PS If there are any other authors of distinguished talent toying with the idea of migrating to Australia, click here to find out more.

The 2011 Miles Franklin Literary Award shortlist will be announced on April 19 in Sydney and the winner in Melbourne on June 22.


  1. another interesting writer Lisa ,all the best stu


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